A parable - the Land of many steps
Once upon a time in a place called “The Land of Many Steps” there lived a sweet, quiet woman named Arianna. Arianna had a very successful career; was dedicated to her family; enjoyed life's simple pleasures and looking from the outside in, had a wonderful life indeed. But, that was not to last. One day without any obvious warning, that life was turned upside down and forever changed. It happened that her youngest son, a bright, curious, energetic teenager, discovered the dark world of heroin and quickly spiraled downward into the desperate, dangerous, life-sucking world of addiction. He continually broke the laws of “The Land of Many Steps” and eventually faced the gruesome hell of withdrawal and survival, alone, in prison, in agony. Little did he know that the laws of "The Land of Many Steps" would now be forced upon him. Meanwhile, as the days, weeks and months passed, Arianna became overwhelmed with despair and wondered how she had become such a terrible mother. So, to soothe her pain and forget, she befriended the fruit of the vine with abandon and in no time claimed the identity of a hopeless lush, caught in the relentless cycle of alcohol addiction.
But, deep down in her heart, even though it had been hardened from being broken so many times by the constant horrifying, psychologically abusive attacks by her son, she knew there must be a way to overcome the insidious death trap of addiction and the stigma it brought to bear and somehow replace it with a joyful life full of love, hope, happiness, success and freedom, for both of them.
And yes, that new life meant being fully recovered even though that would be looked upon as heresy by the rulers of "The Land of Many Steps". Arianna had heard stories of such successes from faraway places where many lives were saved and people who experienced addiction were no longer feared or punished. But here in this land, the statistics continued to rise and sorrow prevailed. If the infallible doctrine of this land did not work for you then you were condemned to a life of hopelessness and failure surely the result of your own unalterable character defects.
Through the years, Arianna would try to be good, doing her best to live by the laws of “The Land of Many Steps” but she would stumble over and over again which filled her with shame and guilt, deeply feeling the scorn of those who knew her and pitied her. Life often hung by a thread, one she often considered breaking.
One day, struck by a brief moment of clarity, Arianna suddenly realized that what she was being told to do by the rulers of “The Land of Many Steps” to save her own life was the very thing that was taking it away. She then knew what she must do. She must take back her power! In that moment her purpose was born and she was filled with the inspiration and motivation to create a way to help people see recovery differently so they too could learn to live and love a truly addiction-free life. The evidence and the answers were all there recorded in the books of science, available to anyone with a willingness to explore and a mind open enough to see the possibilities.
But the rulers, and even the healers of this land had taken control of all the addict’s minds’, and the minds of those who loved them, brainwashing them to believe that their only salvation was to admit their powerlessness and live out the rest of their lives in “The Land of Many Steps”. It was then Arianna knew she must become a champion for others, bringing a message of hope to them, inspiring renewed belief in themselves, guiding them to a place where loving-kindness and truth lifted the weight of their feelings of worthlessness.
With courage and determination, she formed a crusade leading all the people in search of refuge far, far away from “The Land of Many Steps” to a new land, a land of "Many Paths"; their own safe, sacred place, their inner sanctuary, a place within where addiction could not live. A place where they would be free to create their own recovery just as she had done. And so, a new land became known...
A new land, where stigma and judgment cease to exist, where relapse is embraced as a learning experience (because you will punish yourself enough), and people uncover the courage to step into their purpose and become all they are meant to be. Living in this new land is kind of like rediscovering things about yourself that you forgot; your skills, talents and dreams. It's like being on a treasure hunt, leaving no stone unturned until you find the delight, surprise or purpose you are looking for. It’s a place for remembering those things that are important to you - what matters most; things that make you feel worthy, wanted and loved, capable, free, and full of joy. It's kind of like what you feel when you have new puppy, a first love, a new job, acing a difficult test, having a baby, or giving something all you’ve got, then failing and having the courage to try again. It’s kind of like what you feel when you hold a loved one’s hand as they breathe their final breath and you know you were there fully in mind, body and spirit to honor them and celebrate them even though your heart was breaking. It’s a place where you are accountable for the things you say you will do because doing so builds trust in yourself, the trust of others in you and protects your integrity.
This new place is known as the land of UnCOVER-E where you uncover the connection to your spirit, the reflections of your awareness and your vision of a brighter tomorrow. It is place where you are free to live and love a truly addiction-free life.